Category Archives: HOMER

Bahamas appeal

Hurricane Dorian has hit the northwestern Bahamas as a category 5 storm, specifically the Abacos Islands and Grand Bahamas, on Sunday 1 September, and moved slowly across the islands over the following days. It is reportedly the strongest storm worldwide this year and the strongest to have ever hit the Bahamas, with 185 mph winds. After our exceptional experience in the Bahamas earlier this summer, we thought you may want to show your support.

Here are some ways to donate and help people affected by the hurricane:

At the time of writing, the storm is only starting to move away from the area, so the extent of the damage and loss of life is only starting to emerge. Our thoughts are with the people of the Bahamas, and we will seek to communicate any requests from our colleagues there if other forms of support are wanted.

CfP HoMER Conference 2019 – Nassau: Anchoring Cinema History

HoMER 2019 CfP Conference 2019, Nassau, The Bahamas, 26–28 June 2019

Hosted by The University of the Bahamas

CfP – Anchoring New Cinema History

Deadline for proposals, 15 November 2018
Letters of acceptance/rejection, 1 December 2018

The HoMER Network invites submissions for general paper entries, as well as a designated roundtable, panels, and workshops to be presented at the 2019 conference, which will take place at The University of the Bahamas from 26-28 June 2019.

New Cinema History, as an approach focusing “on the circulation and consumption of film” and examining “cinema as a site of social and cultural exchange” (Richard Maltby, 2011) has turned out to be very productive. It brought together both young and veteran scholars who believed that it was more fruitful writing film history with an eye for the social, economic and geographical aspects of cinema cultures, than merely an art history of the moving image or a critical reading of films. At the last HoMER@NECS conference in Amsterdam, members of the panel ‘New Cinema History: What’s Next?’ called  for more theoretical and methodological grounding of our research. In the Homer 2019 conference Anchoring New Cinema History we would like to start answering that call. Presentations are welcome to critically explore the conference theme of Anchoring New Cinema History through the interdisciplinary lens of academic Film and Cinema Studies, Social Geography, Memory Studies and Economic History, etc.

Since its beginning the HoMER network has been instrumental in bringing together researchers working in the New Cinema History tradition, not just as a platform to present their work but also as place to meet colleagues to collaborate with. In the upcoming HoMER conference we propose to stress the network function of HoMER, both in welcoming young scholars as in creating interdisciplinary opportunities for collaborative work. The 2019 HoMER conference aims to exploit the established strong connections of people, and places the HoMER network can offer, in order to invite new and old members to engage in new collaborative research. This will be articulated in two main streams:

1. SPACES and PLACES – Connections and comparisons (either pre-constituted panels or individual papers)

The SPACES andPLACES Stream of the conference will aim to investigate the geography of cinema. This can be expressed both through the exploration of familiar and new spaces of cinemas, such as cinema theatres but also pop-up cinemas,  community cinemas, and virtual cinemas. It will also include both well researched geographical areas and new territories and locations, such as South and Central America, Africa, Central Asia and South-East Asia. These new uncharted territories will be of great value on their own to reconnoitre the position of different countries in relation to cinema practises. They will also provide connections and comparisons with existing body of work on Europe, America, Canada and Australia.

By looking at this extended geography of cinema, possible topics and questions to explore might include (but are certainly not limited to):

  1. Environment, space, and place

  2. Cinemas and urban transformations, transition and change

  3. Cinema practices, policies and external bodies (local authorities, communities, self regulating associations)

  4. Memories and topographical references

2. THEORIES AND METHODOLOGIES – (special discussion sessions and presentations)

The THEORIES AND METHODOLOGIES Stream of the HoMER conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on and discuss some key areas of research within the HoMER network, with the aim of suggesting new directions in the field and developing new theoretical and methodological approaches, or reintroducing and adapting existing approaches that proved to be useful. These key areas can be suggested by members when submitting a paper proposal (or just by emailing the HoMER Co-ordinators). A dedicated session of this stream will include:

Small group discussion (1 hour) on the key areas, followed by presentations (10 min) to the HoMER participants and a further discussion (20 min). Possible key areas to explore might include (but are certainly not limited to): Cinema and Memory; the Economics and business of film; Programming and film popularity; Paratextual analysis; the Digital challenge; Distribution and spreading of films; Impact of research to non-academic audiences.

Moreover, in a speed dating session, junior researchers will be given the opportunity to team up with experts to discuss their individual methodological and theoretical concerns. If you are interested in this (both juniors and experts), please email the Co-ordinators.


Please send abstracts of 250 to 300 words, plus 3 or 4 bibliographic entries, and a 50-word academic biography to conference co-ordinators, Clara Pafort-Overduin ( and Daniela Treveri Gennari (

Updated Information will be posted at:

Programming Committee:
  • Clara Pafort Overduin
  • Daniela Treveri Gennari
  • Monique Toppin
  • Jessica Leonora Whitehead
  • Mario Slugan
  • Talitha Ferraz
  • Maria Luna

HoMER at NECS 2018 + AGM

HoMER strand at NECS Conference: Media Tactics and Engagement, Amsterdam, 2018
Hosted by the University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam , 27-29 June 2018

Three days of presentations by authors of research on movie and other media distribution, from all eras and places. See the abstracts visualized with Prospect.

There is a Media in Transition pre-conference  organized by Utrecht University on 26 June. For more information and registration see:

HoMER Network AGM

The HoMER General Annual Meeting will take place during NECS conference in Amsterdam on Wednesday 27th from 16.15 until 18.00, at VU Main building, room 15A33.

Please see the agenda here.

Before the meeting, please see the minutes from the last meeting in Toronto, and the updated HoMER constitution.
If you cannot attend but wish to share any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact either Daniela or Clara, or comment on this page. The meeting will be streamed through our HoMER Network Facebook page.


Workshop: Curating and Sharing the Data of Media History (with Eric Hoyt)

The HoMER workshop is sponsored by DICIS and will be on Friday 29 June, 3.45PM-7.00PM

In the course of our research, members of HoMER have amassed collections (quite large, in some cases) of documents, images, publications, and other sources that chronicle the global histories of moviegoing. How can we use digital technology to leverage these sources—many of which never even become footnotes—so that they are meaningful, useful, and revealing to a wider community? And what are the considerations of law, ethics, labor, technical expertise, and historiography that we must attend to in the process? This workshop will take up these questions through a blend of presentations, discussions, and hands-on exercises. One common thread will be the multiple meanings of “curation”—ranging from the decisions of inclusion and exclusion, to the computational structuring of data, to the methods for contextualizing objects that users encounter online.

The workshop will be facilitated by Eric Hoyt, who is an associate professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Director of the Media History Digital Library. Hoyt will discuss some of the forms of curation that he and his collaborators have employed in digitizing magazines for the Media History Digital Library and, most recently, in reuniting a paper and audio collection for the “Unlocking the Airwaves” digital humanities project. But the workshop’s focus will be on the interests, research, and questions of HoMER members. Please bring at least one primary source that you would be interested in somehow sharing or curating online.


All HoMER workshops and panels will be in the main building of the VU. Click here for directions.

There will be a HoMER dinner on Thursday 28 June, at 7.00 PM in The Circl, Gustav Mahlerplein 1B, 1082 MK Amsterdam.( a 10-minute walk from the VU). If you have not signed up yet, please contact Daniela ( or Clara (


This year’s HoMER gathering takes the form of a conference strand in NECS at Amsterdam. All HoMER panels will be held at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. If you are attending, please check the NECS website for transport and accommodation advice.

The preliminary programme for the conference can be found here. There will be fifteen HoMER panels and two workshops throughout the three days of the conference. The HoMER General Meeting will take place on Wednesday 27 June.

One of the highlights is the workshop on “Curating and Sharing the Data of Media History”, which will be run by Eric Hoyt (co-director of the Media History Digital Library) and is kindly funded by DICIS (Digital Cinema Studies). If you wish to take part in this workshop, please complete the form below.

We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam.

In Memoriam: Karel Dibbets

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Karel Dibbets, which occurred in the last days of May. Our thoughts are with his friends and family, and we will remember Karel as a kind and generous colleague who leaves a lasting legacy in our field.

Tributes have already been published and will no doubt continue to appear, as Karel’s work and life connected him to so many others through his teaching, writing, editing, organising, and his cheerful, bright presence at conferences and social events. We invite you to post your remembrances and tributes to Karel in the comments below, to be collected for future events in his memory.

Karel was one of the founding members of the HoMER Project in 2004, and orchestrated its first conference, ‘Cinema in Context’, in 2006 (The keynotes were published in a special edition of Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis). Its title makes reference to the Cinema Context database, which stands as Karel’s most influential project – and indeed a trailblazing one that opened up new ways of researching cinema history. Collecting and systematizing data of film exhibition and distribution in the Netherlands between 1895 and 1940, Cinema Context was one of a handful of digital projects that gave concrete form to the empirically-grounded project of New Cinema History as an emerging field. Karel’s reflections on method and practice (such as his 2010 article on “Cinema Context and the genes of film history”) are key interventions in the effort to construct an interdisciplinary field of study, and have helped many others to structure and develop new projects in many parts of the world.

A very important aspect of Cinema Context, which in a way reflects Karel’s sociability, was its openness. Not only can you view, browse, and search the data – you can download the whole database and useful scripts to run analyses on it, or to collect your own data in a compatible format. This ideal of interconnectivity through shared standards continues to motivate current work within the HoMER Network, and Karel’s absence will be felt on a practical level as well. Fortunately, the University of Amsterdam continues to maintain the database, with Julia Noordegraaf as its curator, thus ensuring that the project continues to develop and transform.

After graduating from the Netherlands Film Academy, he studied economic and social history at the University of Amsterdam where he also wrote his PhD on the coming of sound in the Netherlands. In his nearly 30 years teaching cinema history at the University of Amsterdam (1983-2011) he inspired many students. Karel had also co-edited the Skrien monthly film review and the Jaarboek Mediageschiedenis / Media History Yearbook. His book Film and the First World War, with Bert Hogenkamp, is an essential part of any early cinema bibliography. His books on the coming of sound in the Netherlands and cinema history until 1940 are standard works for Dutch films students. His books and multiple articles on the transition to sound, film distribution and exhibition in the Netherlands, and the relations between film and theatre demonstrated his clarity of analysis and ability to weave together detail and pattern.

Lately Karel had been working on ‘the evergreens of cinema history’, the films that kept coming back to Dutch screens over the decades. Karel’s laughter and conviviality will never be restored to us – but may our memories of our dear friend, and the influence of his work, remain thus ‘evergreen’.

Tributes from friends

In the media:

Please use the Comments below to post your memories and tributes to Karel, or links to notes published elsewhere.

Call for Papers: What is Cinema History?


A HoMER Network conference

presented by the Early Cinema in Scotland research project

call for papers


University of Glasgow

22-24 June, 2015


Over the last three decades, our understanding of cinema as a historical phenomenon has been subject to a series of ‘turns’ – empirical, spatial, and computational, to name a few. This conference, organised by the Early Cinema in Scotland research project in collaboration with the HoMER Network (History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception), will investigate the shifting positions and imperatives of cinema history and its relationships with other approaches and disciplines. As cinema itself unravels or merges into a diversity of media forms and reception contexts, the centrifugal impulse of cinema history is amplified by scholarly engagement with new technologies. At this pivotal point, we need to understand the contradictory legacies and perspectives of film studies, film history, media archaeology, cultural studies, and other cognate fields, transcending the discourse of ‘newness’ that has underpinned the development of these methods. Thirty years after Film History: Theory and Practice (Allen and Gomery, 1985), what is new in the theory and practice of film and cinema history? To that end, this conference welcomes papers on the rhetoric and methods of cinema history from all periods, as well as empirical research projects that engage with these questions through case studies or comparative analysis.


Some of the topics proposed for consideration include:

  • The place of cinema history in relation to other disciplines and research fields, such as geography or social history;
  • Teaching cinema history and understanding its specialist skill-set;
  • Archives, sources, and the consequences of digitisation for different types of cinematic heritage;
  • Historical geographies of cinema and the use of digital mapping as analytical tool;
  • Non-metropolitan and non-theatrical exhibition studies as a historiographical challenge;
  • The rhetoric of ‘newness’ and revisionist historiography;
  • Text, ‘distant reading’, and the digital humanities;
  • Data sharing, comparative approaches, and micro-history.


Confirmed keynotes:

  • Richard Maltby
  • Haidee Wasson
  • John Caughie
  • Judith Thissen


Research on the history of exhibition, distribution and reception emphasises cinema’s imbrication in the fabric of social experience, championing relational and contextual approaches. Since 2004 the HoMER Network ( has functioned as an international forum for researchers working in these areas, supporting a series of conferences, events, and publications. Participation in the 2015 event is not restricted to previous HoMER participants.


The conference will be preceded by a workshop on Historical Network Analysis, organised by the DICIS (Digital Cinema Studies) Network, and the second day will also feature a reflexive round-table on the past and prospects for cinema history. There will also be a HoMER general meeting during the conference, to decide on future structures and goals for the Network. This meeting is open to all conference participants interested in the future of HoMER. The Early Cinema in Scotland project will fund ten student/unwaged bursaries to cover registration costs.


Submissions are invited for individual papers and pre-constituted panels or workshops. For papers, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short biographical note to both Maria Velez-Serna ( and Lies Van de Vijver ( before

9 January 2015. For panels, please send the abstracts together with a 200-word note on the title and topic of the panel or workshop.


You will be notified of the acceptance or decline of your proposal by 5 March 2015.

2015 HoMER Conference CFP Glasgow (PDF)

New HOMER Website

Welcome to the new online home of the HoMER Network.

Please bear with us as we migrate the old HOMER website to the new platform.

What is HoMER?

HoMER stands for History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception. It is an international network of researchers interested in understanding the complex phenomena of cinema-going, exhibition, and reception, from a multidisciplinary perspective. HoMER has organized panels, conferences and workshops since 2004.

What is Digital HoMER?

This website uses the DH Press platform developed at the University of North Carolina, in order to provide a directory to HoMER-related projects around the world. It attempts to map and categorize these projects to foster a collaborative outlook and awareness of relevant work, with particular attention to projects that incorporate digital methods or elements.

What projects are represented?

The list and map are constantly growing, but they are fed by direct submissions which are then approved and formatted by an editor.

How do I get involved?

If your project seems to fit the HoMER remit, please go to the online form. Your submission will be sent to one of the website editors, who will format it and georeference it before it is included on the map. At the moment this is still a manual process, so it can take a couple of days.

At the last HoMER meeting in Milan, it was also decided to try to compile a directory of existing datasets available for comparative research. If you want to contribute details of your datasets, please use this form.

Announcements for forthcoming events and calls for papers will be posted under Meetings.